German and Japanese Navy Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) rendezvoused in the skies above the Gulf of Aden combining their proven capabilities.
This rare meeting of MPRA’s is an ideal opportunity for EU NAVFOR and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) air assets to work together against the threat of piracy in this strategic economic trade routes linking Europe to the Far East. MPRA’s are tasked to fly in different parts of the Area of Operations, where they can cover over 200,000 square nautical miles during a single nine hour mission.
Under the command of CTF465, the German MPRA and crew have been operating as part of Operation Atalanta since early September and are due a well earned rest over the monsoon period. Their primary mission was to monitor and report on activities along the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor, (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden, so deterring piracy and responding to maritime incidences.
Major General Charlie Stickland, Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR said “We cannot underestimate the importance of the contribution of the MPRA’s on our operation. Their inherent flexibility, speed, reach and response time, to assist maritime vessels under pirate attack makes them essential to deterring piracy in our area of operation” he added: “I am particularly thankful to the German crew, whose flexibility and professionalism maintained the success of the mission. I wish you a safe trip back home and look forward to seeing you again in the spring.”